8 Greatest DLSU Green Archers of All Time
By Jon Rodriguez
The De La Salle University Green Archers squad is dominating Season 79 of the UAAP, having lost only once in the elimination round against rivals, the Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles. As the Final Four begins, let’s look back at some of the greatest players to don the green and white.
LIM ENG BENG
This isn’t a ranking, but if it was, then the late Lim Eng Beng would indubitably land at the top spot as the greatest Green Archer of all time. Beng, a two-time MVP and champion, was De La Salle’s premier scorer in the 70s, when the school was still playing in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). Aside from a single-game record of 55 points, the #14 green and white jersey remains untouched to this day because it belonged to this La Salle great, who claimed to have never missed a free throw in college.
Four straight championships. That’s the Lasallian legacy left behind by Renren Ritualo. After winning Rookie of the Year honors in 1997, the deadly sharpshooter from San Beda led the Green Archers to a rare four-peat from 1998 to 2001, ending an eight-year drought. His number 4 jersey was also retired by the Green Archers to honor his elite shooting accuracy and remarkable leadership.
Jun Limpot’s sweet mid-range stroke and smooth post moves helped the Green Archers win back-to-back titles in 1989 and 1990. The legendary La Salle big man also shares the record for most number of MVP trophies (three) with fellow college and pro legend Allan Caidic. In 2013, Limpot returned to Taft to serve as an assistant coach to Juno Sauler. And yes, he won another title for La Salle.
Mark Clemence Telan was one of the most dominant UAAP players in the 90s, and was named Rookie of the Year in 1993. The lanky center carried La Salle to four straight finals appearances, but always came up short against stronger teams from UST and FEU. He did win back-to-back MVP trophies in 1996 and 1997 for his efforts.
In an era when giants Marvin Ortiguerra of UST and Enrico Villanueva of Ateneo battled for big man supremacy, Don Allado proved he was the top dog. Following in the footsteps of Limpot, the 6-foot-6 Allado also delivered two championship trophies to Taft in 1998 and 1999, and was named MVP in both seasons.
The late Kurt Bachmann delivered only one title for La Salle in 1956, but the honor he brought to the school went global, thanks to stints in the FIBA World Championship, Asian Games, and Summer Olympics. Bachmann was a two-time NCAA MVP who mastered the art of the hook shot. His number 33 jersey now hangs in the rafters in Taft, right next to Ritualo and Beng.
While Bachmann was graceful and calculated in his hook shots in the 50s, Mark Cardona introduced a new, rugged style in the 2000s. Cardona’s go-to hook shot was automatic and often caught defenders off-guard. He was named UAAP Rookie of the Year in 2001, when La Salle went on to win the last of its four-peat title run. In 2004, Cardona won another championship as the Green Archers’ main offensive weapon, but the title was later stripped from La Salle due to ineligibility issues of some of its players. What they couldn’t strip away was Cardona’s tear drop shot and swagger, which he carried with him to the pro leagues.
One-time UAAP champ JV Casio was a lights out shooter during his days as a Green Archer, like a smaller and shiftier version of Ritualo. Casio was named Rookie of the Year in 2003, and co-Finals MVP in 2007. La Salle failed to win back-to-back titles in Casio’s last year in 2008, but his prolific scoring earned him a spot in the Mythical Five as well as the privilege of being picked first in the 2011 PBA Draft.
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